Love is color grey. In between white and black. In between good and bad, a pendulum of right and wrong.
I stared at the phone ringing on the bed stool, I knew the caller even without looking at it. This must have been her sixtieth call.
“Pick it” Mirabel said, walking out of the bathroom,the steamy heat from the shower covered her in a smoky haze. The fragrance of her lavender soap assailed my nostrils. I breathed deeper. Crystal beads of water rolled down her ebony skin, falling in a soft puddle around her feet. She held a large white towel to her head, wiping water from her curly black hair. The towel hid her round full breasts from my view.
“Pick it and tell her what?” I asked,my mind shifting from her breasts to the problem at hand: My wife. I grabbed the bottle of vodka on the table and poured some in a glass. I took a sip, grimacing as the alcohol burnt past my throat to my chest, soothing the ache deep down my chest. An ache that has been there since yesterday when my wife walked into my office and asked – Who’s Mirabel?
My heart had slammed in my chest but I kept my face blank. I tried to deny, tried to force rage into my voice, tried to give my best act of an innocent husband but my Oscar worthy performance crumbled when she slapped the nude pictures of Mirabel and I on my desk, the very ones we had taken in the Dubai vacation two months ago. The ones I loved so much and had refused to delete from my laptop.
“Who is she?” she had screamed, tapping her right foot on the floor, her hands on her waist.
“Tell me!” she barked before lurching towards at me with the speed of a tiger, her nails grazed my face, drawing blood and pain. Her limbs went wild; kicking, hitting and breaking everything within her reach. I saw my 10 square foot, classic styled, pristine office reduced to a heap of broken glass pieces, fallen shelves and flying papers. Eavesdropping colleagues pressed their heads between the slightly open door, exuding soft sighs and loud whispers of “Madam, ozugo. Take it easy”
She held my shirt at the throat, calling me all manner of names: Pig. He-goat. Ingrate. Fool. Bastard. Names I have never heard her call me in the seven years of our marriage. Words I could have swore my pious, catholic wife would never have uttered.
That night, I slept at Mirabel’s. With one look at the sore finger claw beneath my left eye, Mirabel wrapped her arms around me and pulled me inside. A cup of hot steaming coffee was next, before a massage. All my problems seemed to melt under the magic of her palms. We didn’t talk about it. We laid in each other’s arms, stared in our eyes, listening to sound of our breath till the first light broke in the skies.
I knew my life was crumbling. I knew my wife would want me to choose. Her or Mirabel? But how? Love is never a choice. The heart can never be tamed. Marriage is a mistake. Love should be freely given and taken.
Mirabel dropped the towel and picked a pink bottle of white fair cream, she raised her left leg to the foot of the bed and began to apply the cream starting from her foot. I followed her hands, from her ankle to her calf; I watched her rub and slid, up and down, over her knee and up to her thigh- the fleshy thigh jiggled under her hands, her ebony skin glistened and glowed. Her legs opened as she reached for the inner part of her thigh, then slid upwards, the mat of black hair parted to reveal, pinkish folds of skin, she slid a finger in, rubbing and caressing, round and round.
My breath came out in hot pants. My bulge grew harder, pressing the zipper of my trousers. My mind went blank to the phone ringing on the bed stool, the Wizkid video playing in the TV, the problem waiting at home, the guilt lurking in my heart. All disappeared except her slender finger rubbing and sliding in and out, faster and faster…
One thing must kill a man.